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I am preparing my photos to put into a physical album. The album is 20cm wide and 25.4cm high; I will print the photos and stick them into the album (rather than print the album). Most of the photos are landscape; I will print them as 9x13 and have two per page.

However, I have some landscape photos that have large groups of people; too much detail for 9x13. I want to print these as 13x18 or even 15x21 and give them an entire page. This means that I have to rotate them. I can then either set the bottom always to the outer edge of the album or always to the right side of the page. The outer edge may be easier to look at, but the right side has the advantage that you can see both photos when there are two like that next to each other. What would be the common choice if I have two such pages next to each other? I think either of these options, but I can't decide.

I also have some portrait photos which I don't find so special that they should take an entire page. I want to print these as 9x13 and put two of them next to each other. Here the same question applies: should the bottom align with the outer edge or the right edge of the page?

I can imagine that the answer will be "you can do whatever you like", but did want to check if there is any kind of standard way to do this.

Landscape photo aligned with the outer edge (left and right page):

enter image description here

or with the right edge:

enter image description here

Portrait photos aligned with the outer edge:

enter image description here

or with the right edge:

enter image description here

Images from placekitten.

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    I think the answer is - as you suggested - a subjective, creative decision. Having said that, I have Steve McCurry's book 'South Southeast' which presents many landscape photos, oriented in such a way that you flip through the book a bit like a flipchart or calendar, rather than constantly having to rotate the book to correctly view both sides of the pages. See this webpage from the book designers, with a short description of the project.
    – osullic
    Jun 20 at 16:51

3 Answers 3

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From a reader's point of view, I would appreciate having to turn the album only once per double page. So I would vote for the right edge alignment.

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Right edge alignment is the way to go. You can think of creative decision and think otherwise but at the end of the day a user having to flip a book a few times in a row to appreciate your book will undoubtedly start being annoyed... and that is a feeling you do not want to associate with this photo experience...

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There is no “should” for photo book layout…and an album is a form of photo book.

Neither layout you suggest is right or wrong except in respect to what you want.

It is even ok to put photos in upside down, skewed at an angle, or cut up into multiple pieces with scissors.

Yes doing those things might have consequences, but nobody will die and you will learn more about what you might want to do in the future.

And if you don’t like how something turns out you can redo it in a different way, or undo it, or cover it up with something else.

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